- Tesla’s 2020 Model S Long Range Plus is now EPA rated for 402 miles.
- Tesla says it was able to accomplish this feat thanks to mass reduction, updated regenerative braking, and a wheel/tire combination that reduces drag and rolling resistance.
- The result is that the current version of the Model S Long-Range Plus can travel nearly 20 percent farther than the 2019 version.
While Tesla has mostly been focused on the Model 3 and Model Y, it has also been making updates to the Model S line to give the sedan the ability to go nearly 20 percent farther than the same Model S from the 2019 model year. The company says it achieved this with a combination of mass reduction, new wheels, drive unit efficiency, and updated regenerative braking.
Tesla says that it has taken what it learned building the Model 3 and the Model Y and applied that to the Model S. According to the company, it has been able to reduce the weight of the vehicle through the use of a standardized seat, some clever design and manufacturing, and using lighter materials in the battery packs and driver units.
The rear AC-drive unit now has an electric oil pump instead of a mechanical one, to optimize lubrication and reduce friction. Plus, the company has improved the gearbox of the front permanent-magnet synchronous reluctance motors.
The addition of Tempest wheels and tires with reduced rolling resistance and reduced aerodynamic drag resulted in an improvement of 2 percent. Car and Driver's own tests of the automaker’s aero wheels showed just much they improved efficiency over other wheels available from Tesla.
Finally, the company says that the new Hold mode regenerative-braking feature sends more energy back to the battery than previous regenerative-braking solutions from Tesla. The feature blends the motor's regenerative braking with the physical brakes when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator. The regenerative-braking update means it works at a lower speed and deceleration speed.
It’s essentially one-pedal driving that slows the vehicle down completely, but now it also uses the physical brakes.
Throw all of that together and the 2020 Model S Long Range Plus vehicles are able to travel nearly 20 percent farther than the 2019 version. The numbers should be published on the EPA's fuel-economy website shortly.